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My favorite Google Chrome OS extensions

After 2 months of Chrome OS daily use, I’ve compiled a list of plugins a web developer & casual social network engineer should use.

Google Chrome OS Logo - Source: doobybrain.comWith another round of Google Chrome OS laptops coming out today, I figured I’d compile a list of my favorite extensions from the past 2 months that I’ve had my Cr-48 in daily use. I don’t do a whole range of diverse things on the internet – I mainly keep on top of my facebook account and blog. I post my updates through Twitter and they get syndicated everywhere else. Meanwhile, I do web development, and store my files in the cloud using Mesh and DropBox. Hopefully some of these extensions seem useful to you.

Internet Browsing extensions

  • Adblock Plus for Google Chrome (beta) – Just like in Firefox, it blocks ads. There is the ABP stopsign in the omni-box next to the Favorite-Star that you can use to turn it on/off or create a filter.
  • Flashblock – Does what it says on the tin…and more. This extension blocks all types of Flash/Shockwave media files as well as Silverlight. There’s no visible toggle switch aside from turning the extension on and off or clicking the blocked flash object in question to activate it (as long as it’s visible). To whitelist a whole site (in the event that it is blocking invisible flash objects) press CTRL + SHIFT + F.

Communications

  • Google Talk – Allows you to chat with a fixed Google Chat window inside of the Chrome browser.
  • Meebo.com – A uber-service IM web-based app for any of your conceivable IMing needs.
  • Trillin.im – My favorite Multi-Service IM application, in web-based version, with cloud sync for contacts, logs, and other settings.

Social Networking / Sharing

  • Bit.ly – Adds a button to the browser that shrinks the active page’s url and puts it in a box ready for you to share. Social Account toggles appear on the window for granular sharing.
  • Facebook for Chrome – Adds a notification button to the browser, that shows a red number when you have new notifications (mail, reactions, invitations, etc). When clicked, it opens a tabbed view of your Wall, News Feed, Notification list, and Messages, as well as ability to update your status. Also includes Facebook Chat capabilities
  • Seesmic Web – A one-stop app for all your social networking needs. Switch to the Black UI to save some battery power.
  • WordPress Comments Notifier – Useful for bloggers who want to stay on top of their blog comments. I decided to install this in light of my intention to bring this blog back to life. Ironically, with the frequency I check my blog (out of SEO curiosity for traffic sources based on search terms) I don’t have to worry about many unapproved comments sitting around for very long. Plus it makes a handy shortcut to the blog.

Games

  • Entanglement – Included in the first version of the Google Chrome OS laptops, this is a fun, time-passing, connect the lines mental game.
  • Qbox – A challenging mental game where you have to unscramble the letters of an insightful quote from someone historic.
  • Sinuous – A simple, addicting game. Avoid crashing into the red dots by moving your mouse around the screen. The longer you last, the faster and more abundant the dots become. Pick up the power-ups along the way to last longer.

Living in the Cloud

  • Aviary – A layer-based, Photoshop-like web-based image editor/creator.
  • DeviantArt muro – Web-based paint-like graphics app that lets you draw right on the webpage, and save them to load for later. It’s a super-advanced graphics app, compatible with several types of hardware input devices.
  • DropBox – Adds a button to the browser that, when clicked & authenticated, shows you a directory listing of your DropBox shares and their contents. When you click on the interested file, it opens in the browser (provided it is allowed). Useful for text-based files, images, and media.
  • Full Screen Weather – Based on data from WeatherUnderground.com, this full-screen weather app uses the location-awareness built into Chrome to determine your location (if allowed) and then overlay current weather conditions on a scalable/movable full-screen Google Maps frame.
  • Google Calendar Checker Plus – If you’re all sync’d up in Google Calendar, this extension keeps it all in the forefront of your mind. On the browser button it shows the timeframe for your next appointment (5m, 2D, 1w, etc). On hover, it shows what/when the next appointment is. On click, it loads the actual calendar, based on the options you’ve set in the extension settings. The plugin also has toaster alerts for events, and the ability to create new events inside the popup-calendar.
  • Google Voice – The browser button shows the number of new items waiting for you. On click, the ability to send text messages or place calls right from your browser and view your inbox, where you can clear items from the notifications with a click their message body or archive/delete them.
  • Grooveshark – Similar to the late Anywhere.fm and iMeem, Grooveshark lets you listen to whatever song you can search for on the internet, create your own music collection, or stream their pre-made radio stations.
  • Picknik – Made popular as Flickr’s web-based photo-editing application of choice, you can get this photo editor as an app for your chrome browser as well.

Web Development

  • Firebug Lite for Google Chrome – Adds a browser button that creates a frame similar to the appearance of the Firefox extension, but with a little less functionality. Still helpful to see what files are being called, and viewing their contents/locations.
  • FTP Free – If you haven’t made the switch to a cloud-sync’d file storage, and rely on FTP access, then this is the extension for you. FTP functionality, right in your browser. Just configure the server connection/creds and go.
  • SourceKit – This was my solution from a previous post, that I mentioned I’d write more about when it was completed. The last time I checked, they had gone from a non-functional version, to one that works, but has some minor cosmetic issues that make it nearly unusable. Once it is finished though, it will be a powerful DropBox-syncing code editor, using the Bespin (now ACE) web-based HTML5 editor.
  • TextDrop – A simple web-based DropBox-syncing text editor. More details can be found here.
  • Web Development Toolbar – A popup window-based version of the toolbar extension in Firefox. Useful for web developers and designers in all areas of CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and anything else you can find in a webpage.

By [[Neo]]

I am a web programmer, system integrator, and photographer. I have been writing code since high school, when I had only a TI-83 calculator. I enjoy getting different systems to talk to each other, coming up with ways to mimic human processes using technology, and explaining how complicated things work.

Of my many blogs, this one is purely about the technology projects, ideas, and solutions that I have come across in my internet travels. It's also the place for technical updates related to my other sites that are part of The-Spot.Network.

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